When Jalen Williams steps on the football field, things get loud.
From the big plays he makes as a receiver and a linebacker to orchestrating the Shadow Mountain Matadords, it’s hard to ignore the presence of the 2019 athlete. According to his MaxPreps stats, he caught 16 touchdowns in the past two seasons and made 98 tackles and nine tackles for loss as a junior.
“He’s the top of kid that’s really about the team and playing football,” Shadow Mountain head coach Ron Fagan said. “He gets it. He’s a blue-collar player but he’s an elite talent.”
Off the field though, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound figure has a calming presence to him. He describes himself as quiet and shy. When he isn’t playing football, basketball or baseball, he’s playing Fortnite and Clash of Clans on his phone with his friends.
“I’m more the type to sit back,” Williams said. “Other than on the field when I’m outrageous and outgoing, but I would describe myself as just a quiet person who likes to observe things and take it in.”
Colleges have taken notice of the outrageous things he does on the field as well. Williams earned offers from most of the Pac-12 conference and recently named a top-five of Arizona, Arizona State, Iowa State, San Diego State and Utah.
Top 5 no order also I would like to thank all the colleges that put their time in recruiting me but these are those schools I would like to focus on. pic.twitter.com/aIMaEbAFE2
— Jayrilla🦍 (@Jaywill_6) August 10, 2018
Williams has received interest to play both sides of the football, but if he had a preference, it would be on defense.
“I like to hit,” Williams said. “That’s where the defensive players are at and get greedy.”
Now, he’s focused on helping a Matador team with a lot of talent returning make the jump to the next level.
“We had a lot of young guys last year, so I’m just trying to improve everybody stepping up.”
And according to his coach, Williams’ mix of on-the-field explosiveness and off-the-field calmness has positioned him to lead the 2018 Matadors.
“He’s just a normal kid,” Fagan said. “He just happens to be a really good athlete.”